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Scripture Reading: Hebrews 3:1-6
Christ's True Church Today
1. To teach the gospel to others we must understand the church, which is an essential part of Godís plan of human redemption, Eph. 3:10-11.
a. Jesus died for His church, Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:25.
b. Jesus built it, Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:47.
c. Jesus is its Head and its foundation, Eph. 1:22; 1 Cor. 3:11.
d. It is the body of Christ, Eph. 1:22-23.
e. It is the house (family) of God, 1 Tim. 3:15.
2. To say the church is unimportant, unnecessary, the invention of man, etc. is to deny the word of Christ and the value He puts on His church.
3. Yet, there are 1000ís of churches today, all claiming to belong to Christ while speaking and practicing very different and conflicting doctrines.
4. How do I know which one is right? Are any of them right? Should I belong to any of them? How to do become a member of NT church?
5. Investigate the church of Christ from the Bible (1 Thess. 5:21-22).
I. THE CHURCH HAS NO CREED BUT CHRIST. [Creed: (credo) - ďI believeĒ]
A. Jesus Christ is the Object of Our Faith, Jno. 8:23-24.
1. The object of our faith is not the church, baptism, the Lordís Supper (or anything else commanded us by the Lord).
2. Object of our faith is Jesus, Jno. 8:23-24; 20:30-31; Acts 8:36-37.
3. To obey His commands is to believe in Christ to save us, not in the act itself (cf. Baptism, Mk. 16:16; Lordís Supper, 1 Cor. 11:24).
II. THE CHURCH HAS NO RULE OF FAITH AND PRACTICE BUT THE REVEALED WILL OF CHRIST, THE NEW TESTAMENT.
A. We Follow Christís Word in All Things Concerning Life and Godliness, Matt. 28:18; Col. 3:17; Heb. 1:1-2 (2 Pet. 1:3).
B. The Bible is Manís Only All-Sufficient, Infallible Guide On Spiritual Matters, 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
1. The Bible is our basis and common ground for unity, Jno. 17:20-21; Gal. 5:19-20.
2. Creeds, manuals, disciplines, confessions, catechisms, etc. build up human parties and sow discord, division, and strife:
a. If creeds are ďjust what the Bible teaches,Ē then why have them, and why do they differ?
b. If they are more than the Bible, must reject them, Rev. 22:18.
c. If they are less than the Bible, must reject them, Rev. 22:19.
d. If they are the same as the Bible, unnecessary, 2 Jno. 9.
3. Let us go ďback to the BibleĒ and stay there..
III. TO ACCEPT THE BIBLE AS ONEíS ONLY ďRULE OF FAITH AND PRACTICEĒ IS TOÖ
A. Wear No Name but Christís, Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Pet. 4:16. Reasons:
1. Salvation is in and by no other name (power), Acts 4:12.
2. United in His name (Christ is not divided, 1 Cor. 1:12-13).
a. Christ was crucified for us.
b. We are baptized into His name (Acts 19:3, 5).
3. God is glorified in this name (1 Pet. 4:16).
B. Arrange No Organization but the Local Church, 1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 1:1.
1. Organized and authorized to accomplish collective action of saints.
a. Edification (assembled worship, spiritual teaching), 1 Cor. 14:26.
b. Evangelism, Acts 6:4; 1 Thess. 1:8 (2 Cor. 11:8).
c. Benevolence (needy Christians), Acts 11:27-30.
2. Presumption on manís part to organize human societies, auxiliaries, ministries, etc. as adjuncts to the local church. Jesus equipped the local church with all the organization it needs to accomplish its work.
C. Offer No Worship Except What is Approved in the NT, Jno. 4:23-24 (spirit: from heart, sincere; truth: Godís word).
1. Worship is not entertainment, ceremonial, social or vicarious.
2. Worship is each Christian actively honoring of God:
a. By breaking bread, Acts 20:7.
b. By singing, Eph. 5:19.
c. By teaching Godís word, Acts 20:7 (2:42).
d. By praying, Acts 2:42.
e. By giving as God has prospered us, 1 Cor. 16:1-2.
3. No man can successfully condemn this worship. (Agree and unite)
D. Enter the Church by Christís Plan of Salvation, Acts 2:36-41, 47.
E. Live Devoted to Jesus Christ, Matt. 28:19-20; Lk. 6:46; Jno. 14:15; Rom. 12:1-2.
1. The church of Christ is the only church we read about in the NT.
2. We must follow the NT or we are not a church of Christ, Rev. 2:5.
3. Will you allow Christ to add you to His church?
By: Joe R. Price
Posted January 8, 2020